I’ve had a few recoveries that only took seconds to locate the lost ring. This is not one of those times! Sara called me and asked for help finding a gold ring lost in the surf at Coronado. She had gone out in the water and when a wave hit her, the ring slid off her finger into the calf deep water. She had inherited this ring from her great aunt Mildred, who had passed away in 2009 at the age of 97, and was just sick about the thought of losing this family heirloom.
I met her at the beach that very evening to try to make a quick recovery before the surf, sand, or another detectorist had their way with it. Unfortunately, the tide was in at that point and the surf rather rough. I went out as far as I could but could see that it would be best to try at a low tide (which was about when she had lost it). I made some mental notes as to the location and paced off my steps from known landmarks so I could return to the spot the next day. Good thing, as the weather during the next afternoon low was very windy with blowing sand, which obliterated any sign of where they had camped the previous day. Went out in the same area but in deeper water. Still no luck. Came back twice more in next few days at an even lower tide during the early AM but still couldn’t find it even after expanding the search area. I called Sara, who had been visiting and had flown back home, and told her that I would still keep it on my list and would be back out in a couple of weeks at a real low minus tide and try again.
Fast forward to that day at 3am. It was a day after a storm, so, typical of our south bay beaches, the water was polluted with bacteria from rain run-off and the beach was posted not to swim in the water. Figures, the one day I get a real low tide and I’m limited as to what I can do. I rehunted the same area and went out as far as I could go without going out past ankle deep. I followed the waves in and out trying to hit the area farthest out that I hadn’t been able to search before. 4:15, dead low tide and I get a nice sound on my Excalibur right at the water’s edge, but, just then, a wave is coming in and I couldn’t get a scoop of sand before I had to retreat. I counted my steps toward the beach so I could return to the same spot. Took 40 steps both ways 5 times before I finally got the signal in my scoop. Yes! I was never happier to get a ring in my scoop than this one. So, after 18 days, 5 trips to search that area, and less than ideal conditions, it was finally found.
I texted Sara the good news and the next day met with her local friend Bonnie who was going to return it to Sara. I’m sure her great aunt Mildred helped guide me on this one! Here’s the ring, a happy Sara, and a photo of Mildred taken at about the same age as Sara is today. It was a pleasure to meet Sara and her friends and thank you for the reward. Can I have an easy ring find now? 🙂